Robert E Dales, MD

Medical Epidemiologist

Research to better understand the influence of indoor and outdoor air quality on the health of Canadians

Current research and/or projects

Health effects of exposure to indoor chemicals and outdoor air pollutants.

Research and/or project statements

We have found evidence based mostly on observational studies suggesting that:

Indoor exposure to selected VOCs and phthalates may impair lung function.

Exposure to outdoor air pollution is associated with impaired lung function, selected cardiac rhythm disorders, deep venous thrombosis, epilepsy,hospitalization, and mortality.

The elderly and socially disadvantaged may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of outdoor air pollution 

Environmental health studies help to assess the burden of illness due to air pollution which is needs to be taken into consideration by regulators.

Professional activities / interests

Environmental research

Education and awards

1978                                        Medical Doctor


1982                            FRCP(C) Respiratory Medicine


1983                            FRCP(C) Internal Medicine


1984                                        CSPQ    Respiratory Medicine


1984                                        CSPQ    Internal Medicine


1985                                        MSc.    Epidemiology and Biostatistics


1999                                        Sleep Specialist, American Sleep Disorders Association,


International experience and/or work


Key publications

Dales R, Miller D, Reust K, Guay M, and Judek S. Airborne endotoxin is associated with respiratory illness in the first 2 years of life. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Apr; 114(4):610-4.


Dales, Robert E., Cakmak, Sabit, Smith Doiron, Marc.  Gaseous Air pollutants and Hospitalization for Respiratory Disease in the Neonatal Period. Environ Health Perspectives, 2006; 114(11):1751-4.


Robert Dales, Amanda J. Wheeler, Mamun Mahmud, Anna-Maria Frescura, Ling Liu. The Influence of neighborhood roadways on respiratory symptoms among elementary schoolchildren. J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Jun; 51(6):654-60.


Robert Dales, Li Chen, Anna Maria Frescura, Ling Liu, Paul J. Villeneuve. Acute Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution on FEV1 A Panel Study of Schoolchildren with Asthma. Eur Respir J August 2009; 34: 316-323.


.Dales RE, Cakmak S, Vidal CB. Air Pollution and hospitalization for venous thromboembolic disease in Chile. J Thromb Haemost. 2010 Apr;8(4):669-74. Epub 2010 Jan 21.


Cakmak S, Dales RE, Vidal CB. Air Pollution and hospitalization for epilepsy in Chile. Envir Int.  2010 Aug;36(6):501-505. Epub 2010 May 8.


Dales R, Ruest K, Guay M, Marro L, David Miller J. Residential fungal growth and incidence of acute respiratory illness during the first two years of life. Environ Res. 2010 Oct;110(7):692-8. Epub 2010 Jul 24


Cakmak S, Dales RE, Rubio MA, Vidal CB. The risk of dying on days of higher air pollution among the socially disadvantaged elderly. Environ Res. 2011 Apr 11(3);388-393.


Cakmak S, Dales RE, Coates F. Does air pollution increase the effect of aeroallergens on hospitalization for asthma? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jan;129(1):228-31. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Dales RE, Cakmak S, Vidal CB, Rubio MA. Air pollution and hospitalization for acute complications of diabetes in Chile. Environ Int. 2012 Oct;46:1-5. Epub 2012 May 28.

Cakmak S, Mahmud M, Grgicak-Mannion A, Dales RE. The influence of neighborhood traffic density on the respiratory health of elementary schoolchildren. Environ Int. 2012 Feb;39(1):128-32. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Dales RE, Cakmak S, Leech J, Liu L.The Association between personal care products and lung function.  Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Feb;23(2):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.11.006.

Robert Dales, Lisa Marie Kauri Sabit Cakmak, Mamun Mahmud, Scott A. Weichenthal, Keith Van Ryswyk, Premkumari Kumarathasan, Errol Thomson, Renaud Vincent, Gayle Broad, Ling Liu. Acute Changes in Lung Function Associated with Proximity to a Steel Plant: A Randomized Study. Environment International 2013;55:15-19.

Sabit Cakmak Robert Dales Lisa Kauri, Robin Shutt ,Ling Liu ,Martin Green, Marie Mulholland, Dave Stieb .The Association Between Ambient Air Quality and Cardiac Rate and Rhythm in Ambulatory Subjects. Environ Int. 2014 Dec;73:365-71. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.08.015. Epub 2014 Sep 16.



Dales RE, Cakmak S. Does Mental Health Status Influence Susceptibility to the Physiologic Effects of Air Pollution? A population based study of Canadian children. PLOS ONE.


 Dales RE, Kauri LM, Cakmak S. The associations between phthalate exposure and insulin resistance, β-cell function and blood glucose control in a population-based sample. Sci Total Environ 2018;15:1287-92. Epub 2017 Sep 8.



Medical Epidemiologist , HealthCanada

Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa